Laptop Recommendations

I am in the market for a new PC laptop and am having some trouble finding variety.  Here are my parameters:

-Prefer HP or Lenovo
-$1,100 max
-Internal DVD (external not an option)
-Backlit keyboard
-8GB RAM
-i3 or better
-256GB SSD
-Windows 7 Pro preinstalled

Let me know what you guys think.
ConcordMacsAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
We use Lenovo all the way. The ThinkPad is still top notch.

For a machine with an internal DVD, you want a "T" Model.

What you want is a ThinkPad T440p which is under $1,000 base.

http://shop.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/thinkpad/t-series/t440p/

Customize for downgrading to Windows 7, i5 is much better than i3, get an 8GB memory module.
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Thomas Zucker-ScharffSolution GuideCommented:
I have had too much angst with Lenovo brand computers, especially desktops.  I am not as familiar with their laptops, but understand they are better and come with less crapware.  We are a Dell shop although I have ordered many Sony Vaios.  The Sony's are very good, but I am not sure they can be customized to your specs.

Now about the specs, I would never spec out a system quite like that.  What exactly do you plan on using the system for?  I don't particularly like the i3 chipset and would recommend at least an i5.   With laptops you have to pay an arm and a leg to get more than one fixed drive, and even then it is next to impossible.  If you want/need speed an SSD is the way to go (SSHDs or hybrid drives are okay, but not as good and are finicky).  Remember after 128gb they start to slow down, but you won't see them going close to a hybrid drive until they reach over ~1.5tb.  I would also suggest more RAM, it depends on what your answer to my question on what you are going to use it for is, but more RAM is always good but will raise the price.  What about the screen and screen size?
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ConcordMacsAuthor Commented:
I listed i3 or better so that includes i5 or i7.   I only mention i3 because of the price-point

I don't need a hybrid drive, just a single 256 SSD.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The software that comes with Lenovo commercial ThinkPads is generally decent. I uninstall Password Manager and ShareIt, but that is about all.

Thinkpads are excellent for Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 downgrade rights with software drivers readily available on the Lenovo site for both systems. Most other manufacturers (especially for consumer models) do not even come close to this.

For total cost of operation and lowest overall support effort, ThinkPads are still excellent. Stay Commercial and go with 3 year warranty.
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ConcordMacsAuthor Commented:
I do like the ThinkPad T440p model but also interested in alternatives.

I forgot to include Dell in the options, just not sure what Dell fits this criteria.
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Thomas Zucker-ScharffSolution GuideCommented:
This dell meets most of your criteria but exceeds the pricepoint (1450).  I bought a similar unit for home, this does not have an optical drive - do you really need one?  it also has 16gb of RAM.  You can talk to them to change the specs.  One thing I would suggest, if you are going to go with win8 go win8.1 pro ($50 more but well worth it).  You can get the same model without the touchscreen and it will cost less.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-15-7548-laptop/pd?oc=dncwq5208s&l=en
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@ConcordMacs  - Thanks, and I was happy to help.
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Thomas Zucker-ScharffSolution GuideCommented:
always happy to help
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